I am Ironman?

Yes, the title is correct and yes the movie is in my head. Now that that is out of the way, we had a discussion in my religion class today about Gandhi going to London and changing his wardrobe and it really hit home for me and I thought I would share my story. For me, I can understand what Gandhi is going through (I am Gandhi…I am Ironman) after going abroad twice myself, first to Madrid and second to London this past summer. To put it in perspective, I am from a small town…these are weird experiences (my father doesn’t even have a passport) so like Gandhi I was headed onto new turf without the guidance of others behind me. When I got to Madrid and wore my classic SMU attire of Northface, T-Shirt (Eta Sig, of course..until I realized that ETA is the initials of the Spanish terrorist organization–I digress…different story) and Nike shorts I realized that I stuck out like a sore thumb. Do I mind sticking out? No, but I did feel like I had to blend because I was so different that I was becoming a target. I am already distinctly not-Spanish looking so I was at a disadvantage. So, I went shopping. I can imagine Gandhi feeling the same way, here was a chocolate chip in the vanilla cake, for me, the opposite, but it was uncomfortable. So, I made the change. At the time, I didn’t see it as conformity, but rather accepting the culture out of respect in that area. Is it conformity? Yes. Is it wrong? No. By dressing this way and speaking Spanish as much as I could I felt like I had a better experience, and I wasn’t sacrificing myself. After all, it is just clothes. I kept my values, like Gandhi, and I had a great time. Me and Gandhi, we are peas in a pod. Moving from the country to a big city on the other side of the world, liking distinct clothes from our country, feeling strongly about our beliefs…we are conformists, but we are global people.

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